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Thread: milk issue/pumping help

  1. #1

    Default milk issue/pumping help

    I thought I had this breastfeeding thing down but I'm starting to doubt myself- maybe I just need someone to tell me I'm doing the right thing or give me some additional tips...

    I used to pump after every feeding and would typically get about another 2 ounces after each feeding- I quit pumping when my baby turned about a month and half or so as she was eating so much more I wasn't able to express anymore milk while pumping.

    Now my baby is 2 1/2 months old she is a pro at breastfeeding but I'm starting to question if she's getting enough- she normally feeds about 20min on each side- lately I notice she is pulling away and doesn't seem satisfied at the end of the feed, like she knows my breasts are empty but still she's still not full. Today for example I fed her about 40min total she was still a little fussy after going after her fists and so forth so I gave her 2 ounces of formula which she gulped right down.

    How can I increase my milk supply so I don't have to use formula and my next dilema I go to back to work in 2 weeks and I can't express enough milk now be able to keep up with her feeding schedule while at daycare. If I miss a feeding now while at home as I am trying to give her a bottle once a day to get her ready for daycare, I pump but am only able to express about 1.5-2 ounces- she takes 5-5.5 ounces per feed now when I give her a bottle. I really want to continue to give her breastmilk until 6months- that's my goal, but at this rate I'm not sure I can do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,889

    Default Re: milk issue/pumping help

    I used to pump after every feeding and would typically get about another 2 ounces after each feeding- I quit pumping when my baby turned about a month and half or so as she was eating so much more I wasn't able to express anymore milk while pumping.
    Not being able to pump as much after feedings once the initial newborn stage has passed is normal. After you've been nursing for a while, your body adjusts to produce just about exactly the amount of milk your baby takes when nursing, and not a whole lot of extra. At that point, pump output declines because there isn't a whole lot of extra milk sitting around. If you want to continue making extra milk, you have to demand it from your body. For most moms, this means pumping routinely after feedings using a high-quality pump and correctly sized shields.

    Now my baby is 2 1/2 months old she is a pro at breastfeeding but I'm starting to question if she's getting enough- she normally feeds about 20min on each side- lately I notice she is pulling away and doesn't seem satisfied at the end of the feed, like she knows my breasts are empty but still she's still not full. Today for example I fed her about 40min total she was still a little fussy after going after her fists and so forth so I gave her 2 ounces of formula which she gulped right down.
    Some questions for you:
    1. Are you nursing on demand, or are you trying to schedule feedings?
    2. How are your baby's diapers? (Number of pees and poops/day, color of poops?)
    3. Are you routinely using a bottle or pacifier?
    4. Are you using hormonal birth control, or is there any chance you might be pregnant?

    What you describe sounds pretty normal. Babies fuss at the breast for many reasons- teething, ear infections, desire for a slower milk flow, desire for a faster flow, tiredness... The list goes on. So I wouldn't automatically ascribe fussiness at the breast to low supply.

    How can I increase my milk supply so I don't have to use formula
    1. Feed on demand.
    2. Never try to stretch out the intervals between feedings.
    3. Offer the breast as much as possible.
    4. Pump after feedings using a high-quality pump and correctly sized breast shields.
    5. Don't supplement.
    6. Use slow-flow nipples on your bottles (to help avoid nipple confusion)
    7. Avoid using a pacifier- every minute your baby spends sucking on a paci is a minute she's not stimulating your milk supply by nursing.
    8. Consider sleeping with or very near your baby. Many babies nurse a lot at night when they're right near to mom, and that can help boost overall supply.

    and my next dilema I go to back to work in 2 weeks and I can't express enough milk now be able to keep up with her feeding schedule while at daycare.
    Once you go back to work, things may improve somewhat because you'll be pumping instead of nursing, which usually means increased production (at least in the short term). This link may be useful: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    If I miss a feeding now while at home as I am trying to give her a bottle once a day to get her ready for daycare, I pump but am only able to express about 1.5-2 ounces- she takes 5-5.5 ounces per feed now when I give her a bottle.
    Okay, it sounds to me like you're giving too much in the bottles. AFAIK, producing about 1.5 oz of milk per hour is about average for a nursing mom, so your pump output sounds fine to me. What sounds off is the amount in the bottle- my understanding is that it's better to offer around 2-3 oz in a bottle even though most babies will drink significantly more than that due to the mechanics of bottle-feeding. When baby drinks from a bottle, the milk continues to flow quickly even when the baby is satiated and is only sucking for comfort, leading to the baby taking more milk than she needs. She has to swallow or else she'll choke, YK?

    I really want to continue to give her breastmilk until 6months- that's my goal, but at this rate I'm not sure I can do this?
    You can! And I'm willing to bet you can go a lot longer than 6 months. We'll do whatever we can to help and reassure!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: milk issue/pumping help

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Not being able to pump as much after feedings once the initial newborn stage has passed is normal. After you've been nursing for a while, your body adjusts to produce just about exactly the amount of milk your baby takes when nursing, and not a whole lot of extra. At that point, pump output declines because there isn't a whole lot of extra milk sitting around. If you want to continue making extra milk, you have to demand it from your body. For most moms, this means pumping routinely after feedings using a high-quality pump and correctly sized shields.



    Some questions for you:
    1. Are you nursing on demand, or are you trying to schedule feedings?
    2. How are your baby's diapers? (Number of pees and poops/day, color of poops?)
    3. Are you routinely using a bottle or pacifier?
    4. Are you using hormonal birth control, or is there any chance you might be pregnant?

    What you describe sounds pretty normal. Babies fuss at the breast for many reasons- teething, ear infections, desire for a slower milk flow, desire for a faster flow, tiredness... The list goes on. So I wouldn't automatically ascribe fussiness at the breast to low supply.



    1. Feed on demand.
    2. Never try to stretch out the intervals between feedings.
    3. Offer the breast as much as possible.
    4. Pump after feedings using a high-quality pump and correctly sized breast shields.
    5. Don't supplement.
    6. Use slow-flow nipples on your bottles (to help avoid nipple confusion)
    7. Avoid using a pacifier- every minute your baby spends sucking on a paci is a minute she's not stimulating your milk supply by nursing.
    8. Consider sleeping with or very near your baby. Many babies nurse a lot at night when they're right near to mom, and that can help boost overall supply.



    Once you go back to work, things may improve somewhat because you'll be pumping instead of nursing, which usually means increased production (at least in the short term). This link may be useful: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html



    Okay, it sounds to me like you're giving too much in the bottles. AFAIK, producing about 1.5 oz of milk per hour is about average for a nursing mom, so your pump output sounds fine to me. What sounds off is the amount in the bottle- my understanding is that it's better to offer around 2-3 oz in a bottle even though most babies will drink significantly more than that due to the mechanics of bottle-feeding. When baby drinks from a bottle, the milk continues to flow quickly even when the baby is satiated and is only sucking for comfort, leading to the baby taking more milk than she needs. She has to swallow or else she'll choke, YK?



    You can! And I'm willing to bet you can go a lot longer than 6 months. We'll do whatever we can to help and reassure!
    YOU ARE AWESOME!
    This is what I would have said and then some. AWESOME.

    p.s. Original poster--you can DEFINITELY do more than 6 months girl!!
    Exclusive , ,Christian mommy!
    Bloggin' Mommy


  4. #4

    Default Re: milk issue/pumping help

    Take it from someone who has already begun working....

    I was pumping around .5 - 2 oz. while nursing at home before I returned to work. At the time, I was using a FirstYears dual electric pump that I received as a shower gift. Only pumping .5-2 oz. concerned me, so I invested money in a better pump (Medela InStyle). I should warn you that it was pretty expensive...my husband refers to it as "the car payment". I was hesitant to spend that much money. I saw it in the store, walked away, walked back, looked at it some more...left the store, went back , looked at it again. By the third time, my husband encouraged me to just do it. I don't do that often and if I keep going back to look, then I know I should just get it.

    Now that I'm at work and not nursing during the day, I pump both breasts for a total of 30-40 minutes at lunch and I'm getting anywhere from 8-11 ounces in that time. Now, I don't know if I'm an exception to the norm, but that's what I'm producing. By the time I get home at 6:30 or so, I feel quite full enough to pump again and usually pump only 2-4 ounces, but only because I'm always fearful that I'm pumping milk that I will need to feed baby at the breast...even though I'm sure I could pump a heck of a lot more than I am at 6:30PM.

    Note that I'm also sporatically taking fenugreek (no more than 2 pills per day..though I see some on here taking 3 pills 3 times per day!) and I regularly eat oatmeal to increase production.

    I should also note that we feed my little guy 4 oz. per bottle and he has a 4 oz. bottle about every 2-3 hours.

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